A former Deputy Minister under the John Mahama administration has taken a swipe at the Vice President and 2024 flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for pooh-poohing former President John Mahama’s proposed 24-Hour Economy policy should he win the 2024 general elections.
Speaking at the start of his two-day tour of the Ahafo Region, the NDC 2024 Presidential candidate said “When I talked about the 24-hour economy many people were saying it is not a well-thought-through programme and that people were doing 24-hour economy already.
He said businesses under the initiative will enjoy tax and other incentives for signing up to the voluntary policy, which is expected to create more jobs for Ghanaians.
“I envision a 24-hour economy where hospital facilities, fuel stations, manufacturers, construction companies, garbage collection companies, mining and extractive industries, agro-processing, harbours and ports, financial services, digital start-ups will operate a three-shift system 24/7 in an atmosphere of safety and security.
“This 24 hour economy I propose will be voluntary, it will not be imposed. Businesses will be encouraged to sign up with tax incentives provided for them and enhanced security and lower electricity tariffs after peak hours. Special meters will be deployed to provide what is known as time-of-use tariffs to deliver cheaper power to such businesses during the hours of especially 10:00am and 6:00am,” he explained in an address to Catholic Bishops in Sunyani on Saturday, November 18.
But some government officials and members of the incumbent party have downplayed the idea saying it is not novel. Nonetheless, the Finance Minister in his presentation of the 2024 budget statement to Parliament this month, sneaked in the idea.
The new leader of the NPP and its flagbearer for election 2024, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has also mocked the concept saying the former President is clearly out of ideas.
“Today, John Mahama says he has new ideas and that he wants a 24-hour economy, he doesn’t even understand that policy,” the Vice President stated.
“Today, our hospitals, Electricity Company, Water Company, fuel stations, chop bars and many sectors all work 24 hours. Today, because of digitalization you can transfer and receive money in 24 hours, so he doesn’t understand his own policy,” the Vice President argued.
Speaking to a gathering at a rally during his “Thank You Tour” in Tamale in the Northern Region, the Vice President asked Ghanaians to vote massively for him, saying, “Vote for Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in 2024, I will bring new vision, I will bring new policies and we will transform this country.”
“John Dramani Mahama is the past, Dr. Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was still around we would have had dumsor [Power cuts], and you can’t have dumsor with 24-hour economy,” he stated.
But speaking on JoyNews’ Upfront on Wednesday, November 2024, the former Deputy Energy Minister and MP for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Abdulai Jinapor, expressed disappointment in the Vice President for rubbishing the 24-Hour economy idea rather than putting forward a sound debate
“Work culture is built, it doesn’t just drop like manna; you build it. Sentuo, the new oil refinery coming up here, they’re going to run three shifts. Is that not good? If Sentuo can do it, if Fan Milk can do it why can’t Aluworks and other companies do it?” he quizzed.
So, we then find out what are the challenges and the bottlenecks allowing company A to do a 24-hour system but company B cannot do it. That is the essence of governance, you engage, you find solutions, you bring policies and ensure that you grow the economy and create jobs and improve living conditions,” he added
I thought the Vice President would have challenged President Mahama that I want to see your policy, then we are engaging in a serious debate. That will be welcomed. Now we are elevating the discourse, but when he starts to do chop bar analysis, then we have a major problem because it debases the whole thing and makes it very difficult. I think the Vice President could have done better,” Jinapor noted.
Mr Jinapor said the former President has not claimed that his idea is novel.
“John Mahama has not said it is novel. An attempt to grow the economy is not novel, boost security and increase productivity is not novel. Even Free SHS, Akufo-Addo cited countries that have done it before. What is novel in this world? What is really novel that nobody knows in this world? Even those of us in academia, they tell you that just look for a small opening and add to knowledge. So, assuming chop bars are doing 24-hour economy and Mahama says that I want to take it to another level, is that not commendable?” he argued.